THE CONUNDRUM

A stageplay.

David Yohannes Reeves is a man trying to figure out the best philosophy to live his life by. This exploratory process finds him reevaluating distant memories and probing personal traits to ascertain why his life and his manners are the way they are. In understanding this it might be possible to reset one’s behavioural instincts; being able to do this might improve his chances of finding love, it also might help him to move forward with an optimistic attitude. The idea of a future where the outlook is bright and pleasures loom large is a life worth living for.

- - - - - - - - - - -

The sun rises.

 

A squalid bedsit.

 

A window with a kitchen sink below it filled with dirty dishes. A few kitchen cupboards. A toaster on the counter next to a bowl of satsumas next to a microwave. An old landline telephone atop an old table. A flatscreen TV on a stand pushed up against the wall. On the wall hangs a 1m x 1m framed portrait of a French bulldog. Elsewhere hangs a mirror. Against the wall is a clothes rail with a few drab shirts and several pairs of trousers drooping from it. A CD player sits nestled in a rack next to a rickety wooden chair. In a corner of the room leans an ancient wooden stick against an electric meter. Five clocks of various sizes are dotted about the room. A bare bulb is suspended from the middle of the ceiling. A fold up wall mounted double bed. A bedside lamp. A door leads to an unseen bathroom.

 

A figure lies on the bed: DAVID YOHANNES REEVES. Slowly he’s waking up. Eventually he sits up on the edge of the bed. He rubs his creased face. Groggily he scowls at the audience:

 

DAVID REEVES:               My name, for those of you that are kindly inter-rested, is David Yohannes Reeves and my humble poh-sition is this; do I live life my way or do I live life their way? Now I knows you might be askin’ the same question yourself and I knows I don’t want to be repeatin’ what your mind has already been thinkin’, but I can’t help it, I’m gonna tell it like it is, from the poh-sition of I, David Yohannes Reeves. I shall begin. I shall submerge myself deeper folks but for now I’ve been spyin’ the surface. I spied Ross Carter. He was a plump and pale motherfucker and he says to me this, he says, “I know Dave that what I’m saying to you is like showing a grandmother how to suck eggs—”, I was flabbergasted. He did, he says just that. So, my friends, my neighbours, forgive me. Forgive my stew-pidity ‘cos I can’t quite figure out the point of a pointless idiom. Only fuckin’ idiots speak like that. I believes tho’ that my real issue with Carter was that right there and then he was bein’ critical of my handiwork and that I was bein’ what they calls dee-fensive, that is I’d taken fuckin’ umbrage. This pallid motherfucker had a cigarette pinched precariously betwixt two finely sharpened fingernails. He inserted it through two paper-thin lips and behind the cumulus I heard those words of wisdom, when I says I heard those words I don’t mean that I absorbed ‘em and understood ‘em, because right there and then my mind was already preoccupied. Right there and then my head was filled with a vortex of violence. I could clearly see my boot cavin’ in his skull. Thwack! Thud! Squelch! But for some reason I was reluctant to stop. But why? I didn’t want to kill him. I just wanted him to know that my grandmother never sucked eggs. 

 

DAVID REEVES still seems to be fizzing with anger.

 

He gets to his feet; wearing just his boxers he shuffles his balls and heads over to the kitchenette. A cold cup of tea sits on the bunker - he takes a swig, pulls a face then puts the cup into the microwave, shuts the door and pushes a button: the oven whirrs into action...

 

DAVID REEVES sparks up a cigarette and inhales deeply. He gazes out of the window now and again.

 

DAVID REEVES:               On the surface I remain. I could stand here, with or without a cup o’ tea in hand, sun shinin’ on my face spyin’ a monstrosity every thirty seconds or so. 

 

He points out of the window. 

 

DAVID REEVES:               There goes Rosa Lee. She is a self-made millionaire, a Scouser too. Most times I’d just leave it right there. No point in expandin' the point ‘cos the point’s been made. But I will. I once had the dubious pleasure of spendin’ an entire afternoon in her house and in her company. I knows Rosa Lee was not impressed by my appearance. Bein’ a workin’ man I responds accordin’ to my n-viro-ment. On this oh-ccasion I did not want to breathe in toxic fumes so I wore what most folks calls a dust mask. I sensed she was a little discombobulated so I peeled it back now and again to take a bite out of my Tesco’s cheese ‘n’ onion sandwich, a foodstuff that fitted in perfectly with her dee-spicable taste.

 

He sucks on his cigarette. 

 

DAVID REEVES:               Corinthian columns, Aston Martins and two giant motherfuckin’ poodles that slobbered all over her face. Poodles indeed. I dee-spise poodles. Poodles ain’t real dogs. Not that I’ve had the fortunate fortune to own what you calls a real dog. But I digress, back to Rosa Lee. My irritation with such people is their self-righteous belief that they have amounted to somethin’. That this amountin’ somehow says superior I am. I think folks like Rosa Lee ought to be low-bottom-ized. Harsh I knows, but I believes her selfish dee-termination should be a criminal oh-fence. Accumulation of wealth is abhorrent. Somewhere along evolution’s evolution a short circuit has oh-curred. I have fire, I have food, I have woman. If I see a man without fire or food I invite him into my cave to share my necessities. That’s how a fella finds contentment. 

 

The microwave pings!

 

DAVID REEVES takes out the cup and sips the hot tea. After a few more sips he drops the cigarette into the cup: Ptssss! 

 

He plonks the cup down into the sink and heads to the toilet, disappearing inside. From behind the wall we hear him having a piss then pulling the chain. 

 

Stepping out he’s brushing his teeth...

 

DAVID REEVES:               Tench. Aka. Doctor Fish. They’s had a mythical status where I grew up. A respect based purely on the fact that it was believed that they were the best fighters amongst the freshwater fishes; they fought for their lives don’t you know? Now I’m quite certain that all fishes do that but tench are indeed muscular beasts. I caught my first one at the break of dawn. My brain wasn’t quite focussed when I hooked into it. I’d been slightly dee-stracted by the eel tracks around my poh-sition. I mean, it looked like a million eels had slithered out of that moonlit pond and fled into the field behind me. I’d been curled up in my sleepin’ bag on the bank and these creepy, slippery oddities had slid by inches from my face. I could only think what if, what if they’d wanted to get some heat and take a nap. To my dismay, the tench gave up just a little too easily. He must’ve been tired, not enough shut eye, too much racket from the eel exodus. Back home I briefly had a few minutes of fame, a 4lb 3oz tench ain’t caught every day. I said the battle was like Captain Ahab and ol’ Moby Dick. Perhaps some wise ass would’ve cracked a joke about a bald musician and his right hand had it not been in nineteen ninety-one. I personally don’t have issues with Moby, I knows plenty of people that do, no, my issues lie with a guy named Barry Shift, he is one hell of a cunt. He won’t be travellin’ north, that bastard’ll be goin’ south. I’d like to ask him how it feels knowin’ that there’s dudes out there that deeply, deeply dee-spise him. Myself, well, I’d be rather upset by that knowledge. But in sayin’ that I knows that Barry Shift ain’t got a brain to process that predicament. Barry Shift is one stupid fucker. He don’t simply fight the life, he fights to grasp onto his single fuckin’ solitary brain cell.

 

DAVID REEVES spits the toothpaste into the kitchen sink. He wipes his mouth with a tea towel. Then drops two slices of bread into the toaster and pushes the lever down.

 

DAVID REEVES:               Toast is the greatest gift gods gave us. Often my parents forgot me and went sinkin’ pints at the Farmer’s. Often I’d make toast. More often than not the gas would run out. So often in fact that I gave the half-cooked dinner a name - tosker. 

 

DAVID REEVES shrugs his shoulders. 

 

DAVID REEVES:               Raw toast is but bread I knows this now, I knowed it then too, but the sadness I felt then is a sadness I still feels today. Take a gander at my meter — 

 

He sweeps his arm in the direction of the electric meter. 

 

DAVID REEVES:               It’s stacked high and mighty. I ain’t never eatin’ undercooked toast again. I’m told I’d turn up at the Farmer's cryin’ out for my embarrassed elders. How and why a seven-year-old finds his way to a pub that’s a mile away ought not be pondered on for too long. It’s perhaps here though that I discovered my feet. Walkin’ connects us to this world. It’s why I don’t dig autoh-mobiles. Especially drivin’ autoh-mobiles round in fuckin’ circles at high fuckin’ speed. If I could think of another sport that comes close for its pointlessness then I’d say snooker would be damned nearby. As I says I don’t gets the autoh-mobile myself. I gets it for A to B but I don’t gets it for its apparent beauty. Cocks I knows salivates at the simple thought of steppin’ into a Subaru. In Hawaii they’s got themselves a telescope, the Subaru Telescope. I finds that I gets a little dizzy when I thinks about outer space. I have trouble with its vastness. It’s like my imagination has come away from its tether in a gravity free situation. I can’t get a hold of it or of anythin' else for that matter. I am in space as I am in life: lost.

 

His nose starts twitching. Smoke is billowing out of the top of the toaster. The smoke alarm erupts: Beeep! Beeep! Beeep! Beeep!... 

 

DAVID REEVES rushes over to the toaster and pushes a button - up jumps the toast. He grabs the tea towel and starts wafting furiously underneath the alarm: Beeep! Beeep! Beee... It stops.

 

The toast is incinerated. Disappointment permeates DAVID REEVES.

 

DAVID REEVES:               Back in the day I used to be able to mosey into a sweet shop and buy a single smoke for fifteen pence. You knows that was quite a hefty mark-up considerin’ ten B&H were about 80p at the time. I s’pose the proprietor’s justification was that these little bastards were stealin' his stock and therefore increasin’ the cost of a cigarette twofold was perfectly reasonable compensation. To a certain extent I’d agree with the man; we robbed him, he robbed us. 

 

DAVID REEVES takes a knife and begins buttering the burnt toast. 

 

DAVID REEVES:               Now I don’t, never have, nor never will, agree with The Man, Mr. King Pin. This unctuous shit — if I may interrupt myself for a tad ladies and gentlemen I’d like to apolloh-gise in advance right here and now for my oh-ccasional use of the swear word. I did intend to use the word defecates but somehow it don’t seem to contain the same potent persistence as shits. I knows I ain’t apolloh-gised before for my use of poor language but I’m tryin’ my utmost at this present time to make a serious poh-litical point, resortin’ to vulgarity weakens my argument, so I apolloh-gise, again. That unctuous shit shits on sow-ciety like he got a permanent case of the squits. He says he’ll do this and he’ll do that but once he’s got your vote he won’t do that and he won’t do this. All day long blowin’ smoke up my ass. I ain’t got no more time for this devious motherfu... To my understandin’ I ain’t never heard the truth come out of a poh-litician’s mouth. But why I should expect differently I don’t rightly knows, I mean, man is inherently duplicitous. He ain’t gonna kill that deer with that deer’s knowledge. So I stands here and I says this, I says, be concerned, be concerned by a man wearin’ fuckin’ stag antlers.

 

DAVID REEVES chomps into his cremated toast. It’s awful, he’s chewing it like he’s eating sand. He decides to bin it.  

 

He then starts getting dressed: trousers, shirt, socks...

 

DAVID REEVES:               My sister, Erica Yohannes Reeves, once told me about a peculiar incident that happened to her on Whitegate Drive. Scuttlin’ home through the night-time drizzle she collided with a lunatic, a collision that altered her trajectory beyond reasonable contemplation. I’s tellin’ the truth when I says that this Bozo said he was from the planet Mercury, that Mercurians were the most gentle, generous and gree-garious of all our galaxy’s species and that Earthlins were simply repugnant by comparison. That, my friends, could have been my one and only agreement with this purple prick had he not been born and bred in Birmingham —

 

He stops. Blood suddenly appears from his nose, it trickles down his top lip. DAVID REEVES dabs it, seeing the blood he tilts his head back and pulls a tissue from his trouser pocket and tries to stop the flow... 

 

DAVID REEVES:               My sister on the other hand said that she wholeheartedly agreed with him havin’ now met a Mercurian who did indeed seem to be gentle and gree-garious, she told Bozo that she could not say generous at this moment in time because she had only known him but a few minutes. Bozo said he’d take her to a nice little restaurant that served Mercurian cuisine and that he would pay for it, on account of my sister bein’ so unlike a stereotypical female Earthlin’. My sister blushed. The Mercurius was packed. My sister told me that the food was simply out of this world. It so transpires that Mercurian tradition stipulates that the groom receive a substantial dowry. Tradition also stipulates that for every child born the parents receive an average man’s salary from the mother’s family. So thank those lucky stars, just one child so far, a boy, named Hg. He seems very much 100% Earthlin' to me. Hg popped out before their first anniversary. Mercurian custom continues to stipulate that weddin’ anniversaries should be respected with a vehicular donation. I’m thinkin’ that Bozo was a very clever Mercurian indeed. That Bozo was a canny cunt.

 

There’s a Knock! Knock! Knock! on the door and from behind it we hear: “Post!” Several letters are shoved underneath the door.

 

The nosebleed has now clotted. DAVID REEVES pockets the bloodied tissue then picks up the mail. One of the letters is a brown A5 envelope. He frowns, then opens it. 

 

Inside is a DVD in a clear slipcase. He inserts the disc into the DVD player that sits underneath the TV. He turns the TV on. An image pops up:

 

BOZO:                               Hiya Dave!

 

DAVID REEVES’S blood pressure rises. He rotates the screen to face the audience. Upon the screen is a despicable looking fella, BOZO, his words are slurred. He has a Brummie accent.

 

DAVID REEVES stares out at the audience.

 

BOZO:                               Listen, I want money off of yer. I want to go back to the planet I came from.     Neptune. 

 

BOZO bursts out laughing... 

 

DAVID REEVES is silently apoplectic.

 

BOZO continues with a hint of a smirk. 

 

BOZO:                               You know I need money. To get back to Mercury. I need one big rocket. You know it’s a long way there. It’s a long way back. I want money off of yer, ok? I know you’re not in a position to do much with your life but — never mind... I’ve had your sister. She was very enjoyable. Because from my planet we like feet, legs and big strapping arms — 

 

BOZO explodes with laughter again. 

 

BOZO:                               You know I’m talking the truth about your sister Dave. So I want money ‘cos like I say it costs a lot to leave. I don’t know what your words would be in English but let’s call them - pfennigs. I need a lot of ‘em to get back to the planet and get back to my true origins.

 

BOZO’S wet lips soak the tip of his roll-up as he inhales and then coughs and splutters; the smoke belches from his mouth.

 

BOZO:                               You know you can trust me, you know you like me, you know you want to help me don’t you? And tell your sister. She couldn’t have done any better than me. You know what I mean? And Dave... 

 

BOZO leans into the camera. 

 

BOZO:                               Do as I say. Go on. Do it. Ask your sister; she’ll say the same. Do it. Ok. 

 

BOZO sits back and takes a swig out of his can of beer.

 

The screen goes blank. DAVID REEVES ejects the DVD. He’s boiling mad. 

 

DAVID REEVES:               I have been known on oh-ccasion, now and then, to vent a little frustration. 

 

He snaps the disc in two. 

 

DAVID REEVES:               My problem is though brothers and sisters that my ventin’ mostly stays in and never comes out. A scoop of maggots consists of maybe five thousand of the buggers. If you leave ‘em in a box and don’t feed ‘em to the fishes they pupate. That tiny box is now crammed full of bluebottles, pressed up into each other’s faces, unable to move a nanometre. Oxygen gets in through the holes of the lid; it’s not like they die a quick death. That box is a cacophony of desperate, manic flies, buzzin’ like crazy. Can you envision that? My heart breaks at the very fuckin’ thought. Therefore I suffer frequently from what’s scientifically called intercranial explosions. I have to be honest here, inside my skull I am a callous motherfucker. Inside my head I stab, punch, club and kill. But outside, outside where it counts, I say and do nothin’. I am a respectable citizen. I am a coward. That’s right brothers and sisters, David Yohannes Reeves is a spineless in-dee-vidual. It don’t please me none to say that out loud. But the truth be told. Compliance and conformity stand honourably upon my pathetic shoulders. I don’t s’pose it comes as a surprise to learn that the folks that I do admire greatly are the folks that stand up. Stand up with attitude and intelligence. The freethinker is to be applauded ladies and gentlemen, applause please then for Dennis Deeming. This chap was ever-present throughout my confused chaotic teenage years. At that time my mind struggled to compute the eccentricities of this unique human bein’. Most folks thought him a nutter who belonged in the booby hatch. If I was to meet Dennis Deeming some thirty years later brothers and sisters I‘d shake his hand and let him knows that I sincerely have the utmost respect for him. A unique in-dee-vidual not afraid to say it how he sees it or live it like he wants it. I doff my cap. 

 

DAVID REEVES doffs his imaginary cap.

 

DAVID REEVES:               You were right. Every other fucker is wrong.

 

DAVID REEVES rotates the TV screen back to its original position. Then looks around the room for his trainers. Finding them he begins putting them on.

 

DAVID REEVES:               A time gone past I was in a poh-sition whereby I was leavin’ my home to go and set up another home someplace else. I won’t go into the ins and outs right now, they ain’t that important. What’s important is that I began my search. My search began where? I don’t rightly knows. For the first time I was free to live in a place that I felt was right, that I connected with. Nothin’ dictated where this new place should be, absolutely nothin’. Should I live in the city amongst the pretty girls and the pretty boys? I don’t think so. My feelins is that most fuckin’ folks that live in a city — no offence likes — are what’s known as in-see-cure. Their target is to merge with the migrant masses, content to function like atoms. Solitude frightens the bejesus out of ‘em; they fear that excitement is happenin’ elsewhere, “I gotta be a part of this, I gotta be a part of that”. I ain’t in-see-cure. I am exceptionally comfortable with who I am thank you very much. An acquaintance of mine once said she’d be bored in Paris! Bored in Paris! That London is it. Hand on fuckin’ heart. To my somewhat limited understandin’ of what constitutes a stimulated life I’d say — and I’m bein’ poh-lite here — I’d say she’s a fuckin’ idiot. I can live quite comfortably in the most moribund of places. I don’t need some place to entertain me. My mind entertains itself. I just needs the place to feel right. 

 

With trainers on both feet DAVID REEVES reaches for his coat from the back of the door and begins putting that on too.

 

DAVID REEVES:               My search took me far and wide. I ain’t a rich man; so I walked. I soon reached my own country’s border. No longer did I feel at peace at this place where I was at. Time to enter the unknown, time to broaden my horizons so to speak. Approximately eight hundred and forty three days later I reached my horizon; I discovered Suzdal. It is simply the most beautiful place that I’ve ever been. Tranquillity flows through that river, a peaceful presence is all-pervadin', from the buildins to the people. But I had what you calls a setback. My problem bein’ that at this moment it’s only my wanderin’ imagination that’s there. My body is still here, in this cesspit I call home. Meanin’ positively or negatively that my mind is entertainin’ itself.

 

DAVID REEVES pulls up the collar on his coat and leaves the bedsit closing the door behind him.

 

Outside we hear the sound of distant thunder rumbling. Then the sound of rain pelting against the window. The light levels outside drop a little. 

 

DAVID REEVES re-enters the bedsit. He is dripping wet. He places a carrier bag on the counter and grabs the tea towel and roughly dries his hair.

 

The rain outside is gently easing.

 

DAVID REEVES:               It just so happens that the rain and I get along quite well. I says it’s a genetic trait ‘cos Erica Yohannes Reeves digs it too. I mean many a night have I, David Yohannes Reeves — 

 

DAVID REEVES stops. He quickly scans the audience. He tilts his head sideways.

 

DAVID REEVES:               I’m attemptin’ to listen. Tunin’ into your thoughts. If you’re thinkin’, “We know your fuckin’ name Dave!” then a lesson needs to be taught. I ain’t ashamed to say it, I knows I likes the sound of my own name. A name and the way it’s announced is a solid in-dee-kator to the substance hidin’ behind it. That’s why I says it with a certainty. A certainty that my substance is clean. A name is who you are. Don’t disrespect it. Own it. My name is David. Yohannes. Reeves. And many a night have I spent wanderin’ these deserted streets with my hood up, wrapped cocoon-like in a thick coat akin to a hot pie. I finds it most comfortin’. 

 

He begins taking off his wet clothes, beginning with his coat, trousers, shirt...

 

DAVID REEVES:               My mind is able to find a space that it can’t ordinarily occupy, a space wherein resides serenity and simplicity. You sees my home is often filled with static noise and interference noise generated by my wretched neighbours. Unfortunately communicatin’ with my wretched neighbours is often confrontational so I tends to suffer in silence. When I says silence I means a mute rage. Searchin’ for solitude in today’s world ain’t easy. But I found it, I did. 3am amidst a pummelling downpour is my idea of bliss. It’s at these moments that I feel real happy. I likes to tell myself that whatever divine bein’ there might be out there they’d been pleased by my actions that day. 3am or 3pm the principles still apply. So what warranted my reward? Yesterday I ate my fruit and veg. Did an eight hour shift. I bought a book. I sent some money to my gran — Bingo! I think that would be it. Yes sir! I was positioned enough to be able to send my gran some money. I just sent it. She didn’t ask for it and I didn’t tell her I was sendin’ it. A kind act bestowed upon another. I s’pose sometimes it’s as simple as that.

 

DAVID REEVES is now down to just wearing his boxers again.

 

At the kitchen counter he takes a box out of the carrier bag. From within the box he takes out a large Victoria sponge. From the bag he pulls out a small pale blue solitary candle and stabs it on top of the cake and lights it. He gazes at the flame for a moment then blows it out.

 

From inside the carrier bag he pulls out a grubby musical clown doll. He winds it up.

 

DAVID REEVES:               I wrote a poem. Titled, Cider... Inside her is where I’d like to be. Not physically, but spiritually. I’d sit down beside her and just allow myself to soak in. She the velvet curtains, me the cigarette smoke. But this ain’t possible. Should I contemplate suicide? Earth to Earth. No, I don’t think so. Just take a deep breath and sigh. Dermatological tests have revealed that I have jock itch.

 

DAVID REEVES pushes a button on the doll; it begins to play the theme tune from the film Love Story... DAVID REEVES stares at the audience with a scornful expression pulsating from his face.

 

After thirty seconds or so the tune starts to slow and distort and stutter, the doll is winding down. Finally the clown flops to a pitiful halt.

 

DAVID REEVES flings the doll to one side. He’s now shivering. He judders into the bathroom. Then judders back out again with a proper towel rubbing himself dry...

 

DAVID REEVES:               I’ve just seen myself folks, I’ve just seen myself in the future. That ancient fragile figure that is David Yohannes Reeves climbin’ up a steep snow-covered mountain; a landscape as violent as a volcanic eruption but minus fifty-five degrees and droppin’. A frightenin’ mask expressin’ rage frozen upon my face. My astonishin’ white beard is one large stalactite made up of thousands of tiny icicles. I believe my brittle back is bent double. Yes indeed, I got it. I got the point. As metaphors go it seems pretty straightforward to me ladies and gentlemen. It seems to me that my mind is not puttin’ in the effort, that my mind is ridiculin’ me, again. Forward I inched. Jaws locked, eyes piercin'. The snowstorm whipped my tender blisterin’ skin. By now I was numb, I was anaesthetised. My thinly covered head did not catch the blizzard; I was what people calls aeroh-die-namik. That means my skull was streamlined. I’m certain that from some far off distance my bald pate was relayin’ my poh-sition with clarity and purpose. I had hoped that some kindly soul would redirect my route, alterin’ my course with a stick or a leaf. That is, an arm around the shoulder or a kick in the eye. But underneath the radar, movin’ with great stealth came a colossal gust that daintily plucked me from my mountainside, between forefinger and thumb, and duly dropped me off at the foot of my metaphor. I, without procrastination and without a single thought began the ascent once more, like an unquestionable fool. My bone idle mind, I am convinced, would repeat this pointless plight ad nauseam. And why should he not? I was simply walkin’ the plank. I was indeed behavin’ like a fly trapped on the wrong side of the window. But without warnin’ the window-pane shattered. I awoke to find myself — I awoke to find myself —

 

DAVID REEVES out-stretches his arms.

 

DAVID REEVES:               — still inhabitin’ this God-forsaken space.

 

Despondently DAVID REEVES pulls on a pair of trousers grabbed from the railing and then slips on a dry t-shirt; emblazoned upon the t-shirt is a gaudy image of a cat’s head.

 

From a kitchen cupboard he takes a tin of cat food, opens it and chops it up into a bowl.

 

DAVID REEVES:               My cat is called Simon, that’s Simon Yohannes Reeves; he’s ginger. He and I have what’s euphemistically called a healthy relationship. Contempt is at its core. Now I’m not too sure what Simon’s problem is with me, all I’ve ever done is shown him nothin’ but love and kindness. And for all my love and kindness he treats me with disdain and abuse. I try and sympathise with Simon ‘cos I knows, or I suspects, that a mental malfunction has taken place, probably at birth. Nevertheless you’d think that a mental malfunction would know better than to shit on its own doorstep. Oh-cassionaly I’ve got to take the lead so to speak. Simon ain’t no bull but he sure as hell has horns. Surprise is key when plannin’ an attack. Not that I advocate such action, I love animals - I don’t eat ‘em. When you’re the subordinate though it’s prudent to stand up on oh-cassion. Stand up and holler, Ça suffit! That’s French. Why do folks do that? What’s wrong with sayin’ enough with your fuckin’ bullshit? One day I took a swipe at Simon. It might or it might not come as a surprise to learn but it backfired drastically. Simon can swing southpaw and he can swing northpaw. I received a combination of north, south, east and west, quickly followed by a tetanus injection, a tetanus injection in my arse for good measure. After that we didn’t communicate for quite sometime. Eventually the motherfucker started to soften. The motherfucker entwined himself about my ankles and gazed up at me with those apolloh-getic eyes. And I, ladies and gentlemen, I succumbed. I did. I reached down to stroke him and the dee-ceitful motherfucker whacked me. Tut-tut-tut. Since that fracas he’s been AWOL. I says he knows who’s boss. He says different. The word is there’s a queen paradin’ the streets. I knows this already ‘cos I’ve been hearin’ Simon’s excruciatin’ caterwaulin’ serenadin’... 

 

DAVID REEVES walks over to the bed and from under a pillow he pulls out a huge pair of ear defenders. Placing them over his head they clasp onto the side of his face. He starts shouting:

 

DAVID REEVES:               I AIN’T ACCUSTOMED TO SLEEPIN’ ON MY BACK WHICH IS WHY I AIN’T BEEN SLEEPIN’. ON HIS RETURN I’LL PROFFER A PROPOSITION TO SIMON YOHANNES REEVES: WRITE A FUCKIN’ LOVE LETTER OR LOSE THE CROWN JEWELS.

 

DAVID REEVES un-sucks the ear defenders from grasping his head and slings them back onto the bed. 

 

At the kitchenette he begrudgingly puts down the bowl of cat food onto the floor.

 

A large framed picture on the wall catches his eye. He slings a quick look at the audience. He then walks over to the picture, a 1m x 1m photographic portrait of a French bulldog. He takes the picture down from the wall. He presents it to the audience.

 

DAVID REEVES:               Man’s best friend? Well I don’t really knows about that. I once had a dog, this dog; his name was Bovine Yohannes Reeves. I named him that on account of his similarities to that of a cow. It wasn’t simply Bovine’s black and white markins, it was the fact that he mooed. It’s a strange thing to hear an eight-week old puppy mooing like a full-grown cow. The animal doctor reassured me that he was indeed a dog but could not quite explain the mooing. I’d have to walk Bovine through the streets sufferin’ this indignation. I was a nine-year old boy who was ashamed of his pet, I didn’t want a cow, I wanted a dog. Obviously Bovine himself could sense my discomfort and resented this. I was s’posed to love him through thick and thin — a dee-liberate use of an idiom folks. You knows I got a cheeky sense of humour. As a consequence mine and Bovine’s connection suffered somewhat. Connectin’ don’t come easy to me. I s’pose I’ve only ever connected with two friends in this world and as just mentioned I’m still strugglin’ to connect with Bovine’s successor. My friend’s name was Bluebell. She and I lived on the same street. Although they called it an avenue. It’s an avenue without trees. So I calls it a street. I expects Bluebell and I might even have been boyfriend and girlfriend; not that we actually kissed. But that don’t matter none. I have always felt that a bond between two folks don’t have to be physical. Bluebell had her a disability. It was called sea-stic fire-brosis. She’s still alive but I knows she has now past the age that most folks with that disease live. Her condition caused her to leave Wensleydale Avenue. I missed her terribly. Our common ground I believe was that we shared the misfortune of havin’ been born. I perhaps shouldn’t say that but I believes it to be true. Mooooo!

 

DAVID REEVES looks at Bovine. He hangs the picture back onto the wall. 

 

He turns to the audience:

 

DAVID REEVES:               “Sit back. Take note. Only now does it happen.” “But I am sitting. I’ve got pen and I’ve got paper. But it ain’t happening.” “Be patient. Breathe calmly and watch the sky.” “Watch the sky?” “Yes, watch the sky.” Ever since I’ve been watchin’ the sky. It’s thought that all hope comes from heaven above... 

 

DAVID REEVES moves in front of the mirror, he straightens his ruffled damp hair.

 

DAVID REEVES:               Finally, today, I’ve dee-sided to put down pen and paper and look in the mirror, to look myself in the eye. As such I might find hope. It seems simple but the truth often is. So many folks out there tend to push the blame and seek the answer from outside. My feelin’ is you’ve got to look inside. No point livin’ otherwise. You become an automaton. Well that’s not strictly true, is it? An automaton to a certain degree controls its own destiny. The motherfuckers I’m talkin’ about don’t. You see they allow themselves to be driven by external forces. I says fuck that. I’m takin’ a hold of the steerin’ wheel and I’m gonna dee-side whether to slam into the brick wall or turn a corner. Why this mindset don’t come easy to most brothers and sisters I ain’t too sure. It should do but it don’t. I ain’t never heard of no rat complainin’ about its poh-sition. I expects no rat enjoys the smell of shit. But down there, down in the sewer, a rat can be content. A rat can find a mate and be happy. This, I have to admit, can make life bearable and easier to navigate. When two folks stand shoulder-to-shoulder it’s incredible what can be achieved. So I stand here, right now, lookin’ into the mirror brothers and sisters wonderin’ when will I find my Bucephalus?

 

DAVID REEVES makes a few final touches to his hair - he’s looking ok. 

 

He then lifts up the old telephone and dials a number. He waits. There’s no answer so he leaves a message:

 

DAVID REEVES:               This is a message for Caroline. David Yohannes Reeves speakin’. I’m goin’ to be blunt. Subtlety can cause confusion. Believe this though, my bluntness comes from the heart. Here goes... You and I ain’t meant to be. I’m sorry to say this Caroline but my affections reside elsewhere. That my elsewhere is empty is somethin’ I too have to deal with and deal with it I am attemptin’ to do. Dee-spite it bein’ an unpredictable world out there I’m predictin’ that happiness will arrive at our individual doorsteps. Myself I am where you’re at; it ain’t here or there, it ain’t nowhere. But sometimes a man or a woman has to wait in that place. What governs the length of stay is a secret I ain’t privy too. And why one should wait when another don’t is also classified information that I ain’t got the necessary stripes for neither. I do knows though that when those doors do open it won’t be me on the other side. Instead it’ll be the man who rightly belongs to you Caroline, a man whose name might be Thomas or Edward or Lawrence but definitely not David. David suspects though that what he’s sayin’ ain’t bein’ heard and it ain’t much of a consolation but believe him when he says this Caroline; it will happen, the dam will burst, the time just ain’t right yet. Why? When? Fuck knows. Take it easy.

 

DAVID REEVES puts the phone down and stares at it awhile.

He then walks over to the rickety wooden chair, lifts it and plonks it down into the centre of the room, then heads over to the kitchenette and cuts himself a slice of the cake and places it on a plate. 

 

He then heads back to the chair with plate and cake in hand and parks his arse on it.

 

DAVID REEVES:               I’m guessin’ it went whizzin’ way yonder on the horizon; that this sickly symbol symbolises somethin’ special. But a sorry situation this ain’t. I says it needs no apolloh-gy. I have designed this moment to be precisely as it is. Havin’ said that I apolloh-gise to my body.

 

He takes a massive bite out of the slice. DAVID REEVES continues eating the cake throughout...

 

DAVID REEVES:               Alfa thall-ass-eemia has caused me to look slightly a-neemic. A condition brought on down by my father’s side. I don’t blames him, hindrances have come from both brittle branches. I might look dead, but I ain’t dead. I’m feelin’ pretty fuckin’ tip-top. I encountered a predicament that rarely touches Mr. Dee. Why. Reeves. I said to the dipshit, I says, “The balls in your court buddy, the balls in your court.” Now to be in a poh-sition of strength is a mighty privileged situation indeed. Bein’ in a poh-sition of power is a situation some folks can’t let go of. I mean, I could’ve smashed his racquet. Game over. I stays in my poh-sition, he stays in his. But I didn’t. I shakes his hand and I says, “Better luck next time.” Dipshit might be concave and I might be convex but most importantly we parts company on an equal footin’. Nows I can’t say whether or not the dipshit would behave in the same dignified manner as I, your humble confidant, but I just gots to believe that to be so. I knows I really shouldn’t give a rooty-tooty about man, man ain’t but scum on the whole, as I keep highlightin’ and repeatin’, but it seems like I’ve got contradictory attitudes, like those of a dee-mented hippy. My internal dee-bate drags on and on. I hopes one day to rectify my conundrum. I hopes one day I finds the enlightened path. Stop! I hears the cackles. I hears the cackles like a sonic boom, “Don’t be stew-pid!” — You folks should try solvin’ this puzzle yourselves; let me know if you hear the cackles. Go on; give it a shot. Oh! Me? Gah!

 

He stuffs the final chunk of cake into his gob. DAVID REEVES places the empty plate on the kitchen counter.

 

The daylight level drops further.

 

A bare lightbulb hangs down from the centre of the ceiling. DAVID REEVES flicks the switch on the wall: Pop! The bulb blows. He rummages in a kitchen draw and finds a spare bulb. Standing on the rickety wooden chair he unscrews the dead bulb...

 

DAVID REEVES:               Havin’ suffered the injustices that I have ladies and gentlemen I oh-ccasionally feels the need to reenergise my bein’. I knows that sounds somewhat ree-dick-ulous but a sure-fire way to rejuvenate the spirit is to embark upon a quest. I also knows that that sounds somewhat ree-dick-ulous as well but a colleague of mine he went to Timbuktu. For those folks that don’t know, Timbuktu is in Mali; that’s a country in Aff-ree-ka. Timbuktu sure sounds like the kind of place where a quest could begin and could end. Some folks oh dee on spiritual rejuvenation, I mean over-do and not over-dose; quest after quest after fuckin’ quest. I don’t sees it myself, that certainly don’t work, how can it? They’re missin’ the point. These motherfuckin’ do-gooders double up these expeditions with saintly behaviour. I don’t knows why but I do find myself thinkin’ about their motivations an awful lot. In my unassumin’ opinion the true quest has to be a truly selfish endeavour, involvin’ ancestry, religion, money or mid-life crisis. Those are my feelins, I knows some folks will insist upon that the altruistic deed is the only path to tread in order to achieve a rejuvenated spirit but I ain’t so goddamn sure. 

 

He inserts and screws in the new bulb. 

 

DAVID REEVES:               Then again I sometimes feel that the stance these do-gooders take is purely a selfish one therefore they could be right and I could be wrong. No, when I travel to Kotezi it is simply for the benefit of my own self, a re-connection that will heal my soul. For as my poh-sition stands my experiences so far on this planet of ours is to have my soul steeped in puss and bile. Know what I mean?

 

Ting...! The bulb mysteriously bursts into life. DAVID REEVES lifts his eyebrows, eyes bulging: spooky! He steps down from the chair and puts it back against the wall.

 

The light levels outside the kitchen window have dropped further, it is now nighttime. The bedsit is illuminated by the bare hanging bulb.

 

DAVID REEVES moves over to the CD player. He ejects the drawer, checks the CD, then pushes it back in.

 

DAVID REEVES:               So I found myself stood in the Duomo in Firenze; how and why don’t strictly matter. I was however a little out of my comfort zone on account of me havin’ a non-religious and non-educated upbringin’. I s’pose I shouldn’t feel this way, it got no importance to me whether I knows who did what and why they did it. All that matters is that I feel its presence and I respond accordingly and for that I don’t need no education. That I should find myself transfixed by a clock, considerin’ I got five of ‘em back here —

 

DAVID REEVES points to the five clocks dotted about his room.

 

DAVID REEVES:               — is and was a little perplexin’. But I got to thinkin’ about time. More to the point I got to thinkin’ about death. Specifically how I might die. Ordinarily it don’t benefit one’s self to think about such stuff, why should it? But no matter how deceptively I tried to fool my brain I couldn’t stop myself. I just kept thinkin’ about that split-second I go from bein’ sentient to bein’ a lifeless corpse; it ain’t but a single breath. That instinctive function ceases to be. The amount of time I’ve spent thinkin’ about my body’s automatic inhalin’ and exhalin’ is all but minutes. But with that last breath disappears a whole lifetime of thoughts and experiences, good or bad. But I think that was Uccello’s intention, you see I reckon he stood on that very spot contemplatin’ his death and he decided to create somethin’ that would somehow contain and convey all of his experiences so that they, unlike mine, would never be wasted. Unfortunately I am still standin’ here, not thinkin’ about life, but thinkin’ about death. So who’s at fault: me or Uccello; did he fail or am I the failure?

 

DAVID REEVES quickly puts his forefinger to his lips: Shhhh!

 

DAVID REEVES:               Don’t answer that.

 

DAVID REEVES presses play on the CD player: Shine by Val Denham erupts. The music is LOUD.

 

DAVID REEVES sparks up a cigarette. Slowly his head begins to bob and bounce to the beat. The sound is surrounding him, enveloping him. His movements are in sync. The music fully circulates within his body. It is absorbed within him and he’s feeling it; he’s travelled elsewhere. 

 

The track plays out entirely. 

 

Slowly DAVID REEVES gradually returns. He’s still pumped but he lets the energy dissipate into the ether.

 

DAVID REEVES:               My neighbour — 

 

Bang!Bang!Bang!Bang!Bang! from the other side of the wall. 

 

DAVID REEVES:               — she’s got a penchant for punchin’ a wall. 

 

Bang!Bang!Bang!Bang!Bang! 

 

DAVID REEVES:               She can punch as long as I can play. 

 

Bang!Bang!Bang!Bang! 

 

DAVID REEVES:               Some fuckwits might play all night. But I’ve stopped so she’s stopped. 

 

DAVID REEVES waits - silence.

 

DAVID REEVES:               This part-ick-ular neighbour I like. I’m reckonin’ that the life for her has been harsh. I says reckonin’ but I knows for a fact it has; cross-hatchins criss-crossin’ both arms ain’t markins of the ordinary kind. You knows as I knows that somethin’ dark has made its presence known. It’s but luck that darkness didn’t dee-scend upon you or you or you. So I tries to take the time to step back and unearth the set of circumstances. A paintin’ of a field of sunflowers ain’t just a paintin’ of a field of sunflowers; them fuckin’ root weevils turn up anytime any place. Optin’ to transcend one place to another is why I needs music. I’d say a committed hour suffices. Three minutes don’t. But here and now my neighbour’s needs outweighs mine so three minutes is what I’ve got. I can still twat an emotion to the crematorium in this time but I knows that the boomerang is coming back — 

 

His head knocks forward as if the boomerang just clobbered the back of it; DAVID REEVES rubs his head. 

 

DAVID REEVES:               — and back it is. I’m told ex-or-size can offer somethin’ similar. That it can sever an unwanted thought in two. In my head that unwanted thought spins like a fuckin’ top spittin’ out vertigo to boot. But best hear me now when I says that I ain’t got no gapin’ cavern deep inside me. Don’t expects me to become an ex-or-sizing nut. Fuck them endor-fins. I expects those nuts gets high on paracetamol. My sights are set sensibly. No joggin’. I’ll walk around the block. I might even cough up for lycra too ‘cos you knows I takes this shit seriously.

 

He stubs out the butt of his cigarette into an ashtray and then enters into the bathroom. 

 

A few moments later DAVID REEVES reappears; his lower face is painted bright blood red, the top half bright white, his hair pushed back. He reaches for an ancient wooden stick standing beside the electric meter. 

 

In the centre of the room DAVID REEVES draws an imaginary circle on the floor and then steps inside it.

 

DAVID REEVES:               I’ve written me a desperate plea to those out there someplace else. I’m knowin’ some folks might say such hogwash is piffle. Personally I don’t subscribe to such minuscule minded modern ways of thinkin’. My thinkin' encapsulates a broader perspective; an ancient knowledge. I believes that what we see is but the topsoil of somethin’ deeper. Somethin’ that our dimension-limited poh-sitions cannot fathom. I knows you’ll say, “Dave, the science says shut your fuckin’ trap —” but I says the science don’t always know the fuckin’ science. The science only knows what the science knows today. The science tomorrow might decide that what I’m sayin’ is in fact science and not fuckin’ hogwash and piffle. So here goes (The plea is sung in a naive tune): I’m goin’ insane. I’m feelin' the strain. I wish I wasn’t but I’m losin’ my brain. I’m askin’ for help. Help from the gods. I’m beggin’ the gods, don’t let me go insane. I’ll give you my soul. Fulfil your goal. Just get me out o’ this fuckin’ shit-hole. Help me please. Please help me now. I ain’t prepared, to sacrifice a cow. What else can I do? To entice you. Apart from singin’ this song for you. Tomorrow’s too late. To open the gate. Tomorrow’s too late to save my fate. They’re bringin’ the gurney. For my journey. They’re ringin’ the bell, I’m goin’ to hell. So here it is, here’s my soul. Clasp it now. Rip it free. Eternity, I’ll worship thee... 

 

He waits. Arms aloft. Nothing. He relaxes his arms.

 

DAVID REEVES:               I ain’t Blake nor Plath. I ain’t racked my brain nor stretched it one iota. That incantation fluttered from my mouth free as a bird. Perhaps those peoples in poh-sitions of power sussed this. Some saps do this thrice daily for a lifetime and get nothin’ but tumbleweed. Maybe them saviours are out there chucklin’. Gigglin’ at my lack of poetic talent. One thing that ain’t funny is this; stop callin’ me fuckin’ Dave.

 

DAVID REEVES grabs the discarded towel and cleans/smears the make-up around his face. He heads over to the bed flinging the towel onto it. 

 

He sits down. From underneath the bed DAVID REEVES pulls out an old melodeon. He composes himself - then plays a handful of bars of John Brown’s Body... then stops.

 

DAVID REEVES:               I wonder, now and again, why so much of human behaviour is dee-voted towards the expression of aggression? This, dear listener, is a question I frequently ask myself. I’m askin’ it again now. It don’t matter where I am I always seem to encounter the cockerel screamin’ to be sectioned. It seems like so many folks simply live their lives in order to project anger and intimidate. This permanent production of the negative vibe I imagine requires a great deal of dee-termined attitude, “Excuse me baboon, aren’t you exhausted from your efforts?” “Say what?” “I mean, what is the fuckin’ point, what is the fuckin’ purpose?” Ho-hum. Sometimes I do wish I had the courage to sacrifice an unbroken nose and two front teeth. But I ain’t. Folks of an enlightened mind and spirit waste no time in allowin’ the baboon to infiltrate their system. I knows, brothers and sisters I should know better, I should not behave like the very monsters I dee-spise. For that too would make me a dee-spicable creature. But let me tell you right here and now, truth to the cause, that one day I yearn desperately to confront the cunt for it is he who can so often dee-stroy the purpose of life. I hopes and pray that I can summon up his cruelty and vomit his hatred. Turnin' a blind eye gives me no satisfaction whatsoever. Most folks is quite happy to die knowin’ they’d done the needful by. But what they think needs doin’ is often quite different from what I think needs doin’. Funny that.

 

DAVID REEVES slides the melodeon back under the bed. Then trudges back into the bathroom. 

 

From inside we hear a tap running and the sound of someone energetically washing their face. 

 

He steps back out of the bathroom drying his face with a different towel - all the make-up has gone.

 

DAVID REEVES:               Some folks says you needs coherence in life. Not I. Give me incoherence. I don’t want sense; I want NONsense. Life as a sheep is rather too predictable. I wakes up, I eats grass, I dumps dung, I sleeps.

 

DAVID REEVES selects another shirt from the rail and puts it on.

 

DAVID REEVES:               As a supposedly evolved species I, as human, likes things a little more varied, I likes things to take place that I ain’t got no answer for; such as the unpredictable nature of Simon Yohannes Reeves. Havin’ said that I’ll say this; I ain’t got no answer for the Atomic Bomb. 

 

He finds a pair of socks scattered about the floor and puts them on too.

 

DAVID REEVES:               That’s an unpredictable situation that I don’t like. Stew-pidity keeps incoherence bubblin' bright. None more stew-pider than Mr. J. R. Oppenheimer, he says, “A scientist cannot hold back progress because of fears of what the world will do with his discoveries.” Myself, I thinks that’s a wee atom-sized umbrella of self-dee-lusion. The motherfucker knew damn well what the world was goin’ to do with his dee-scovery; a man just don’t dee-scover an Atomic Bomb! 

 

He rummages about the bedsit and finds a pair of dusty black shoes. He looks about for something, then looks at his feet; he takes off a sock and begins polishing one of the shoes.

 

DAVID REEVES:               No, the kind of nonsensical situation I do likes is somethin’ close to this: A certain type of man considers it okay to shit on another man if the recipient is a guest in the shitter’s house. The shitter believes that the guest cannot question bein' shat upon, it’s the shitter’s house and he’ll shit on whomever he feels needs shat upon and don’t dare to question his manner, not in his home. It’s reassurin' to know that when the shitter becomes the shittee he no longer accepts the rules of the manor. In fact he might even kick the shit out of the shitter to prove a point. What the point is, is anybody’s guess.

 

Having finished polishing his shoes DAVID REEVES puts the sock back on and then slides his feet into the shoes. 

 

From a bowl on the kitchen counter he takes a satsuma and begins to peel it and eat it throughout...

 

DAVID REEVES:               Most nights I dream. Last night I dreamt that both of my hands had been cut off. By who or what I don’t really know but I awoke to find myself knelt on the floor with my arms raised in supplication. I was cryin'. I was snivellin’. I cannot remember the last time I did actually cry, consciously that is. To think that I’ve been doin’ it in my sleep slightly disturbs me. I believe the old motherfuckin’ mind is up to its usual tricks. Magic that I don’t really care for. All my life I have suffered with my eyes open and my eyes closed. Why? I don’t know. I try and influence the content of my dreams by what most folks call positive thinkin’. Where I come from thinkin’ positively involves bloody revenge. Unfortunately that’s a negative act and my fuckin’ mind knows it. So I gave up on that tactic sometime ago. Eatin’ a satsuma or two before bed can sometimes help. I do love everythin’ about satsumas. I could eat satsumas mornin’ noon and night. Show me a man who doesn’t like a satsuma and I’ll show you a man who is but an empty fuckin’ carcass. Of which I found myself stood face-to-face with the other day. But it ain’t my intention dear listener to keep litterin’ this stage with too much cuntsmanship. I genuinely would like to talk about the Good Samaritan who done the right thing but I ain’t bumped into them yet. No, my nights and days will continue to be over-populated by folks of an unpleasant nature, folks in it for themselves. Day and night I thank the heavens for my folks, my kin; that’s my mum and dad. Without those I too might have grown into those that I dee-test. For it’s in them that I saw that which I chose not to be. But I’d like to apolloh-gise here and now. Back there I told a lie; I can remember the last time I did shed a tear. It’s a car crash that screeches into my nights, it slams and it shatters and it explodes into my nights. It was the final vicious fight for those two fuckers. Who knows, deep down, six feet down they still might be at it. I’s fuckin’ hope so. If a man wills it he can always unearth a silver linin’. Do you dig?

 

DAVID REEVES throws the satsuma peel into the bin.

 

He nips back into the bathroom and back out with a bottle of Brut aftershave; he splashes it on all over.

 

DAVID REEVES:               Judging by what I just said, it would appear, ladies and gentlemen, that the mind is able to trash memories that it deems dangerous. When I says dangerous I actually mean damagin’, damagin’ to my state of mind. I believe there could be great chunks of my life that have been disposed of without my consent. Then again who am I if I am not my mind? Do I have to become privy to every dee-cision my mind makes? Should I not trust that my mind has my best interests at heart? Then again I ain’t so sure that my heart has my best inter-ests in mind. When it comes to matters of love David Yohannes Reeves has been a very poor man, a very poor man indeed. In my forty-four years on this planet but two women have besotted me. Unfortunately those two women did not see the man I am. I knows I ain’t the prettiest or the wealthiest or the funniest man alive but I got a soul that’s decent enough. Decency don’t cut it with womenfolk mind. Women believe they seek a man’s soul but a few fine flatterin’ remarks saves them the journey. I knows I am a little bruised and battered and perhaps my comments are somewhat biased but I can only says it as I sees it, unless of course my eyes dee-ceive me, which indeed they might do. But friends and neighbours I must not discount my failins in these matters. I too am to blame for those two women passin’ me by. I could’ve, or I should’ve shown them my soul. To be honest I thought I did. But perhaps I did. Maybe I didn’t. But I’m convinced I did. Perhaps what they’ve seen is not what I’ve seen. Am I septic? Am I damaged? Does blackness live deep within? Perhaps my mind has trashed the thought. Trashed the realisation that I ain’t the man I thought I was.

 

DAVID REEVES is ready for his night out. He has a quick look in the mirror. Puts on a blazer and brushes it down. He’s looking dapper. 

 

He turns off the overhead light. The bedsit is illuminated by the sodium light streaming in from outside. DAVID REEVES sparks up a cigarette. With each suck his face glows amber.

 

DAVID REEVES:               My eyesight ain’t that of a nighttime predator. My eyesight is that of a newborn. I sees the world but I don’t sees it, if you knows what I mean? But it don’t matter none ‘cos I can sense beauty. It moulds itself around my bein’. It’s sucked into my lungs. My lack of 20/20 don’t mean diddly-squat. I ain’t inter-rested in the superficial. I’m inter-rested in the essence. Most folks says that this be the case for them too. Most folks is lyin’. Most folks is shallow. I swims at the deep end brothers and sisters. I’m chasin’ the Quinotaur. I hopes and prays I gets a chance to look him in the eye; to open up the iris to see inside. On that day I’ll be a contented man. On that day at that moment in time I’ll be submerged in the purpose of life. Amen.

 

Pulling up his collar DAVID REEVES leaves the bedsit.

 

The room is quiet. 

 

Distant sounds of nightlife - revellers, sirens, thumping music etc.. A nightlife time passing transition.

 

The door suddenly busts open. The overhead light pops on. DAVID REEVES returns home from his night out with a woman, PRISCILLA. Both have clearly had a jolly time. 

 

PRISCILLA nips to the toilet. 

 

DAVID REEVES attempts to take off his blazer...

 

DAVID REEVES:               Stav Satchell was an n-eeg-matik buddy of mine. I knows I said that I only had two, and I hopes you don’t think that I got a taste for sayin’ what is when it ain’t, it’s simply ‘cos I don’t really know what the hell oh-ccured back then. A fuckin’ tornado hits home and five minutes later your life is but debris and dust. I’m sure my bed once rested there, but there there ain’t no bed. I say shit like this don’t make much sense, but shit like this oh-ccurs regularly in my life. You respect each other on Tuesday but come Wednesday you don’t. I’m certain Stavros and I did go campin’, that we had a food fight, that our greasy mops were even greasier, matted with Echo — that gunk don’t come out that easy, not in the cold waters of the River Wyre that’s for sure. 

 

PRISCILLA has slinked up behind DAVID REEVES. She wraps her arms around his waist and begins kissing his neck.

 

DAVID REEVES:               In Fine Fare Stav’s mother bought Yellow Pack creamed rice puddin’. I insisted that my mother buy Ambrosia creamed rice puddin’. Mine was indeed the colour of cream, Stav’s was indeed the colour of Yellow Pack. I s’pose you gets what you pay for. I didn’t pay for that fuckin’ tornado though. I certainly wish that that had passed me by. I hopes and prays that Stav thinks that too. I prays ‘cos Stav’s dead. Stav died doin’ what he did best. Best in class A. I knows we all thinks about what if... What if I take that extra breath? But dwellin’ on that shit too long is problematic. Just like prayer is a problematic system; a one-way system. As is life. So who knows how and why we end up where we do. I says accept it. Not doin’ so saps energy. Energy needed to spark up a cigarette and trigger them receptors. It also triggers this, that I smoked my first cigarette with Stav, up in my bedroom - B&H - we were ten or eleven. For that I’m happy, for the other I’m not. So what am I sayin’? I’m sayin’ experiences can’t be unravelled; if it’s in it ain’t goin’ out. I ain’t who I was back then and tomorrow I won’t be who I am today.    Enjoy the ride!

 

DAVID REEVES finally surrenders to PRISCILLA’S touch; the two kiss passionately.      Then they pull apart. PRISCILLA frantically begins to undress and so does DAVID REEVES...

 

DAVID REEVES:               Erm-afro-dites have got the arse end of the stick. Their predicament is not one I par-tick-ularly care for. Loneliness is suffocatin’; I’ve been gaspin’ for air for yonks. But I’m hopeful. You sees I knows that loneliness can be revived comparable to a stopped heart. In fact it’s the poundin' heart that does the revivin’. 

 

PRISCILLA’S blouse flies through the air. DAVID REEVES slings his shirt. PRISCILLA kicks off her high-heels. DAVID REEVES flicks off his shoes...

 

DAVID REEVES:               I knows this ‘cos right now my heart’s poundin’ like a fuckin’ jackhammer.

 

He shoves down his trousers... 

 

DAVID REEVES:               Meanin’ I am revived ladies and gentlemen! I have awoken! I ain’t lyin’. I ain’t deludin’ myself neither. Her name is Priscilla. 

 

PRISCILLA’S face lights up; off with the bra! PRISCILLA jumps into bed. DAVID REEVES is beaming.

 

DAVID REEVES:               Priscilla’s face stunned me. I ain’t never seen a face like hers before; a face full of optimism! Optimism I says! It radiates from her face like Ready Brek. It just blew me away!

 

DAVID REEVES’S t-shirt is pulled over his head...

 

DAVID REEVES:               So I had to do it. So I did it! I showed her my soul. I did, I really fuckin’ did. May Zeus crack his whip if I ain’t tellin’ you how it is; Priscilla liked what she seen. She saw that beneath my meniscus of anger and disillusionment decency dwells.

 

DAVID REEVES shoves down his boxers; he is now bollock naked. 

 

DAVID REEVES:               Priscilla and I went for a meal, a fancy-pants place. They had snails on the menu. I told the waiter that an erm-afro-dite had a pretty tough existence to begin with without bein’ considered a delicacy. The waiter didn’t give a toss. We left amidst a plume of, ‘Save the Erm-afro-dite’ sloganeerin’, things like, ‘You’ll Never Crawl Alone!’ and ‘Eat Kale, Not Snail!’ My bravado inside continued outside. I kissed Priscilla. I was tremblin’ with anticipation yet I was petrified to think what her reaction might be. The winter’s night had her lips cold; her breath was still. My heart was thumpin’. My misbehavin’ mind was swirlin’. Was she respondin’? She was! She hugged me real tight. Tight, tight, tight! So tight that I thought I might be asphyxiated. Then I felt it; Priscilla’s heart was poundin’!

 

DAVID REEVES is euphoric. 

 

He rushes over to the light switch and turns off the overhead bulb and jumps into bed. 

 

The street lights outside cast that familiar comforting orange glow into the bedsit. We can sense the exhilaration of two people cavorting. A transition is occurring: the movements and sounds speedily suggest two people going from foreplay right through to climax and beyond. Their activity is winding down, the energy is subsiding and suddenly they are still. All that is heard is two people breathing heavily.

 

DAVID REEVES sits up on the edge of the bed. He turns on a bedside lamp. He inserts two cigarettes between his lips and sparks up both. He hands PRISCILLA one of the cigarettes.

 

He ponders awhile. Then:

 

DAVID REEVES:               Deep down, down deep in them woods I took him. I finally summoned up the demons to fulfil my dee-sires. As I stood there I was calm. My cigarette glowin’ reassuringly in the gloom under the dense canopy. A thin beanstalk of smoke rose from the tip all the way up to meet them tributaries. My world was as still and serene as the nighttime sky. I hunkered down and waited for my company to stir. In this moment ladies and gentlemen I had time for reflection. My mind though had other things on its mind, it had no inter-est in reflectin’, it wanted to look towards the future and in par-tick-ular to the actions that I might be takin’ some five minutes from now. So I graciously backed down. Without his help and support I could not live with or do without. Not sufferin’ remorse or guilt is a gift so great it could have come from the gods. Surprisingly, as an acknowledgement of my gracious behaviour my mind just slipped in a reflection: I understand the point of physical pain, the body wants to hold onto its limbs, but guilt, what’s its poh-sition? Is it merely there to prevent us from hurtin’ those we love? Bozo don’t deserve no love. Is that why my mind is lettin’ me do what I’m about to do? That I’m free to inflict damnation upon this sleazy motherfucker. Why would guilt want to prevent me from doin’ that? Reflect not; I am free. With dee-termination I stubbed my burnin’ butt out on Bozo’s forehead. The skin hissed and tightened. With all my strength I punched him in the face. I did not think about the crack of bone on bone. I hit him again. I broke his nose. I hit him again. His lips exploded. I hit him again. Blood painted his face. I hit him again. His teeth shattered. I — I’ll pause for five seconds.    I am not invigorated by my actions here. Nor am I repulsed. I am simply doin’ what needs to be done.

 

PRISCILLA gives him back her cigarette. DAVID REEVES stubs both out and turns off the bedside lamp and falls back into bed. The two nestle into each other. 

 

A light transition: nighttime becomes daytime.

 

It’s a new dawn - early morning light streams in from the kitchen window.

 

DAVID REEVES slowly wakes. He pulls back the covers. Sits on the edge of the bed. Yawns. Sleepily he makes his way to the bathroom. We hear him pissing. 

 

He re-enters the room.

 

DAVID REEVES:               It’s at it again. My volatile imagination is just too powerful, just too powerful for me to control. I firmly believed I’d gone down to them there woods and pulverised the motherfucker. I’d walked away feelin’ in-dee-structible and dee-fiant. But my beloved brethren, it simply was another example of my mind fuckin’ with me. To add to my unusual cerebral sexual experience I’d heard they’d been breedin' again, my sister and he, another boy, Hermes. I gots to do somethin’. I’m dyin’ on my knees. Once upon a time I’d have been ashamed of my inactivity, my inability to stand up against that putrescent man. But I believes I have come to an understandin’ with myself. I am confident I will confront Bozo, but I’ll confront him in my outlook and not his. What that confrontation might consist of I don’t rightly knows, I ain’t got a clue as yet. I just knows it will happen. I ain’t sayin’ that from now on I shall let no monstrosity overrun me; ‘cos I am who I am. What I am sayin’ is that I will live my life correctly. That is I’ll do unto others as I’d have them do unto me. That’s Biblical, I ain’t a Biblical man but that’s a passage I rightly agrees with. All it needs is for folks to stick to the rules of the game. It just so happens that the Bozos of this world don’t give a rat’s ass about no rules and regulations. So therein lies the problem. But I hold my hands up, dear listener, ‘cos I too disrespect most of sow-cieties dee-crees. I do, I sincerely admits that. So what do you do? What are the answers? I don’t know what the answers are for you and you and you. I just knows what I’m gonna do.

 

DAVID REEVES holds up his right hand and forms a V with his middle and index fingers.

 

DAVID REEVES:               Peace.

 

He looks about the room. He finds the wind-up clown doll; he winds it up. It again starts playing the theme tune from Love Story. DAVID REEVES smiles. This time the vibe is different. He leaves the clown on the kitchen counter and jumps back into bed - Both DAVID REEVES and PRISCILLA giggle and canoodle...

 

...but even before the clown can fully wind down again DAVID REEVES jumps up out of bed.

 

DAVID REEVES:               Did I cop out? My eyeballs is movin’ this way and that. 

 

The clown doll flops and dies - silence.

 

DAVID REEVES:               If I peers out I sees a few noddin’ heads amongst the scatterins’. I knows that you knows vagueness is a dee-liberate dee-vice. I knows that you knows I’m treadin’ gingerly. Why? Personal and poh-litical expression is a hot-fuckin’-potato! That’s why. If you plays on the left or the right it don’t matter, we all strays offside at some point. Ordinarily a whistle is blown. The infraction is acknowledged. The game resumes. I accepts that. Some rules is changin’. Changin’ is affirmative. Itself is an acknowledgement of progression — as a whole. But oh-casionally that hole ends up too fuckin’ deep and slippery. Diggin’ in too deep can be problematic for both dee-fences. That both sides prefer to attack ain’t no fuckin’ surprise. Attack! Attack! Attack! Gangin’ up like a pack of starvin’ slaverin’ hyenas. I finds though that I knows the predictable poh-sition of a right-sided player. There’s no surprises. Their dee-ployment is consistent. Bein’ confronted with a left-sided player’s poh-sition is somewhat trickier. That fucker don’t know if they’re goin' to dribble and trip up and toe poke that ball into your nuts. I’ve come to dee-spise playin’ the left flank as much as I dee-spise playin’ the right flank. Both have an affluence of arrogance; steppin’ over this way then steppin’ over that way. I’m inclined to crop either fucker but as mentioned back beyond courageous violence has alluded me. What baffles me is the blinkered belligerence of both sets of players. My tactical formation was once considered commonplace; that I can dance between both boxes without fear of my teammates hollerin’ Judas! The centre circle has since become no-man’s land. But a tactician’s talent is bein’ able to open their eyes and ears and see the entire field of play. You don’t gets to overcome an opposition by just playin’ in your own fuckin’ half. So that’s my conclusion to my conundrum. Stop. Look. Listen. Learnt in childhood but kicked to kingdom come in adulthood. Go fetch that ball back brothers and sisters. But before I go. I’ve been thinkin’. This fella — 

 

Suddenly a huge back drop falls - a massive image of Diego Maradona holding aloft the World Cup in 1986.

 

DAVID REEVES:               — he’s my god. Take it easy.

 

DAVID REEVES grins and leaps back into bed with PRISCILLA.

 

Live is Life by Opus starts playing.

 

The curtain falls.

 

THE END